ISSN 1021-4437, Russian Journal of Plant Physiology, 2006, Vol. 53, No. 5, pp. 684–688. © MAIK “Nauka /Interperiodica” (Russia), 2006.
Published in Russian in Fiziologiya Rastenii, 2006, Vol. 53, No. 5, pp. 771–776.
Sieb. et Zucc, var.
is a culti-
vated variety of
, most probably originated
by a natural bud mutation of the wild species initially
found in Japan about 80 years ago, then being intro-
duced to various parts around the world [1, 2]. This
plant, being a coniferous evergreen and dwarf shrub, is
often used as a graceful ornamental tree in city parks.
This variety usually has more leaves and branches and
also grows more rapidly than its wild progenitor,
This feature, together with the fact that the nat-
ural populations of
are being rapidly
depleted due to habitat destruction and overharvesting,
renders this variety an ideal alternative source material
for the production of taxol, a high-priced secondary
metabolite of important medical values [3–5].
has been found in many city
parks in China. Nowadays, enhanced attempts are
being made to efﬁciently propagate the plants by stem
cuttings in order to supply raw materials for commer-
cial production of taxol. To make the efforts more efﬁ-
cient, it is necessary to select high-taxane-containing
and other desirable traits for breeding purposes. None-
theless, virtually nothing is known regarding the
genetic variability or uniformity of the plants, although
majority of the vegetatively propagated plants appeared
phenotypically similar. Therefore, it is important to
assess the genomic composition and variability of the
propagated plants. The random ampliﬁed polymorphic
DNA or RAPD  has been widely employed to reveal
genetic variation in plants, including many rare and
endangered species [7–9]. In the genus
analysis has helped to identify high-taxane-containing
accessions that are present in three localities among
12 studied populations of
In addition, RAPD markers have been used to estimate
phylogenetic relationships of Taxaceae .
The present study was aimed to assess the genomic
diversity within the plants of
using RAPD markers. We report that an extremely high
level of genomic diversity exists within a vegetatively
Sieb. et Zucc var.
cial population located at a single tree-breeding farm.
Cluster analysis divided the plants into two distinct
MATERIALS AND METHODS
plants, about 12-year-old, were randomly selected
from a tree-breeding farm located in Dalian city, north-
eastern China, where these plants were established veg-
etatively by exclusive stem cutting.
Genomic Diversity within
Revealed by Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA Markers
X. L. Li
, X. M. Yu
, W. L. Guo
, Y. D. Li
, X. D. Liu
, N. N. Wang
, and B. Liu
Laboratory of Plant Molecular Epigenetics, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, 130024, China;
fax: 86-43-15099822; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
School of Bioengineering, Changchun University of Technology, Changchun, 130012, China
Received November 25, 2005
is a cultivated variety of
and contains taxol, a valuable
secondary metabolite of medical importance, both in their stems and leaves. In this paper, random ampliﬁed
polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were used to assess the genomic diversity of individual plants within
population. Seventy-four randomly selected plants were analyzed by 29 selected primers among
which 25 primers produced polymorphic banding patterns. The coefﬁcient of similarity among the plants
ranged from 0.30 to 1.00 with a mean of 0.605. Our results showed that a surprisingly high level of genomic
diversity existed within
, and RAPD markers were effective in revealing the diversity. Cluster anal-
ysis divided the plants into two groups. This data, when taken together with earlier ﬁndings showing variation
in taxol content within a natural population of
, suggests a tantalizing possibility for selecting
plant lines with elevated and stable taxol content.
Key words: Taxus cuspidata - genomic instability - somatic variation - taxol - vegetative propagation
: PCR—polymerase chain reaction; RAPD—ran-
dom ampliﬁed polymorphic DNA.
The text was submitted by the authors in English.